A message from Bill Leaver to our leaders across Iowa Health System | June 2011

Bill LeaverStaying Connected

Welcome to Iowa Health System Connections, a monthly e-newsletter to share news from throughout the health system. Please forward this to others who may find it of interest. Thanks for all you do to help us achieve our Vision of delivering the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time.

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Strategic Affiliation Agreement signed

At the annual Iowa Health System board retreat earlier this month, Methodist Health Services Corp. and Iowa Health System signed a strategic affiliation agreement, further establishing the partnership between the two organizations.

Methodist Peoria ContractMethodist-Peoria Board Chair Karen Stumpe, Methodist President and CEO Michael Bryant, myself and IHS Board Chair, Gene Blanc (pictured left to right) formally signed the agreement.

This was a follow up to the March announcement that the two organizations were entering into a partnership agreement. Due diligence still will continue through the final closing of the transaction.

Methodist and IHS are now filing with the appropriate regulatory agencies, including the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. An official closing of the transaction will occur upon receipt of the necessary approvals, which currently believed to be by Oct. 1. Once the regulatory approvals are received and closing occurs, Methodist will become the eighth senior affiliate of IHS.

A key priority for Methodist was to find a strategic partner that shares Methodist's mission, vision and values, and its view of the future. Both Methodist and IHS are passionate about quality of care and committed to local health care in the community. It is a good match that promises a bright future.


Cedar Rapids Community Cancer Center Established

Nearly 200 local physicians and St. Luke's Hospital have announced a collaborative effort to consolidate their outpatient cancer services into a new Cedar Rapids Community Cancer Center. Designed to enhance clinical care and support for cancer patients, their families and caregivers, the Community Cancer Center will create a patient-centered, physician-led cancer center where a team-oriented approach will be used to solve the problems related to the care of cancer patients.

Community Cancer CenterThe Cancer Center will place a focus on the patient by working to facilitate a multi-disciplinary approach to care. The patient-centered model brings together providers from various specialties to provide a comprehensive assessment and care planning for cancer patients. Rather than requiring patients to navigate the many different parts of the local health care system, they're instead given direct access to an entire team of clinicians offering a unified treatment plan and greater continuity of service.

The Community Cancer Center will be located in the new Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion located in the MedQuarter Regional Medical District. Physicians Clinic of Iowa has Linn County's largest group of Board Certified medical and surgical oncology providers who manage care for thousands of patients each year through comprehensive prevention, detection and treatment services. St. Luke's Hospital has been providing cancer services throughout its 127 years of existence and cares for an equal number of cancer patients in the Cedar Rapids area.

Ted Townsend

Ted Townsendl

"We believed all along that the cancer center of the future for our community would not be attached to either hospital, but rather where the doctors are," said Ted Townsend, President and CEO of St. Luke's. "Cancer care is different today than 30 years ago. In the old days a cancer diagnosis was often a death sentence. Today, for many it is the new chronic disease, something to be managed over years, and hopefully decades. Hospitals don't do that. Doctors do."

The decision to consolidate its outpatient cancer services into the new PCI Medical Pavilion reverses a St. Luke's board decision of three years ago to build its own cancer center. Those plans were suspended for two years as physicians in the community asked if there was an opportunity to consolidate services from both hospitals and the physicians into a single community cancer center. Those efforts were abandoned last summer after Mercy Medical Center determined to build independently, yet many continued to support a more collaborative approach.

More than a dozen health care organizations involved in the Center represent more than twenty medical and surgical specialties including medical oncology, general and thoracic surgery, internal medicine, primary care, radiology, plastic surgery, pathology, urology, pulmonology, neurosurgery and others.


Finley Hospital Named on 65 Great Community Hospital List by Becker's Hospital Review

Becker's Hospital Review has published its list of 65 Great Community Hospitals, recognized as high-performing leaders in patient care, clinical quality and community outreach.

To compile this list, the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team analyzed and reviewed data from sources including U.S. News & World Report, HealthGrades, American Nurses Credentialing Center and Thomson Reuters to identify remarkable hospitals. For inclusion on this list, hospitals needed to have fewer than 550 patient beds and minimal teaching programs. Note: This list is not a ranking.

David Brandon

David Brandon

The Finley Hospital, with 126 beds, serves patients in Dubuque as well as surrounding counties in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Finley was founded in 1890 with 40 beds. It has been named one of Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals and recognized its performance improvements with the Everest Award.

This year, The Finley Hospital was also honored as a Partner for Change by Practice Greenhealth, a national organization for health care facilities committed to environmental responsibility.

"The Finley team is focused on providing the best possible patient care," states David Brandon, Finley President and CEO, "the fact that we continue to be recognized for our quality is proof of our passion and our goal to provide the best outcome for every patient every time."


Kia Dueul

Kia Dueul

Trinity Regional Medical Center – Fort Dodge Honors First Recipients of the Daisy Nursing Award

Trinity Regional Medical Center recognized two nurses for their excellence with more than 32 combined years of experience at the organization's first DAISY awards ceremony in May, during National Hospital Week. The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was presented to Jessica Lyon, RN and Kia Dueul, RN Peds. Individual ceremonies were held in the recipient's department with their supervisors and colleagues on hand to embrace and express their delight at their achievements. Neither recipient knew they were nominated and only suspected something was up when their families showed up for the ceremony.

Jessica Lyon

Deb Shriver and Jessica Lyon

The DAISY Award, presented in collaboration with The American Organization of Nurse Executives is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attaching the Immune System. The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

"Nominations for the DAISY Award are welcomed from anyone who is touched by extraordinary excellence in nursing care," said Chief Nursing Executive, Deb Shriver. "This could include patients, family, physicians or coworkers. The DAISY Award is well-aligned with the System's mission for, 'Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time.' Those nominated for this award exhibit their commitment to our core important values, passion for our work and kindness in the way we do it."


Iowa Health – Des Moines Earns Blue Distinction for Total Joint Replacement and Spine Surgery

Iowa Health – Des Moines had two hospitals recognized for surgical excellence by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Iowa Methodist Medical Center has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery and Spine Surgery. Methodist West Hospital has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery. Both hospitals were recognized for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results.

Eric Crowell

Eric Crowell

Blue Distinction is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery or transplants. Iowa Health – Des Moines was also designated in complex and rare cancers, cardiac care and bariatric surgery.

To earn this designation, Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Methodist West Hospital were evaluated based on an objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations. The goal of Blue Distinction is to identify medical facilities that deliver better overall quality and medical outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, helping patients and doctors to make more informed hospital choices.

"Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is committed to working with hospitals and physicians to ensure the highest quality care for our members," says Tom Newton, Wellmark's director of network engagement. "The Blue Distinction designation is designed to help our members choose hospitals with a proven track record for meeting aggressive quality standards."

In 2010, Iowa Methodist Medical Center successfully completed 1,305 spine surgeries and 845 knee and hip replacement surgeries. Methodist West Hospital successfully completed 1,555 knee and hip replacement surgeries. Also in 2010, Iowa Methodist acquired the latest da Vinci model for robotic surgery and the O-Arm for enhanced imaging in neurosurgery.

"This designation is a tribute to the dedicated team of physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists who helped develop Iowa Methodist and Methodist West's comprehensive programs in total joint and spine surgeries," said Eric Crowell, Iowa Health – Des Moines President and CEO. "Their clinical expertise in this area of specialty care has resulted in better overall results for our patients."


Allen College - Waterloo Receives Grant for Expansion

The Black Hawk County Gaming Association recently awarded grants for 15 projects totaling $599,663. The BHCGA holds the gaming license for the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo and distributes 5.75 percent of its gaming revenue in grants for public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

The largest grant, $250,000, went to Allen College for an expansion project of the education facility there. Jim Waterbury, Allen Hospital spokesman, said the college needed to expand after three consecutive years of record enrollment. "We are out of space," he said.

The new building, the campus' third, will add about 20,000 square feet of classroom, meeting and office space.


Trinity' Illinois Campuses Certified as Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission

After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Trinity's Illinois campuses have earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

Rick Seidler

Rick Seidler

"Earning this certification is recognition of our commitment to providing ideal stroke care to our patients and the community," said Rick Seidler, Trinity Regional Health System President and CEO. "By working together, we've found ways to consistently save those precious seconds when a stroke strikes. Ultimately that means a better quality of life for our patients."

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements and guidelines for stroke care. Being certified as a Primary Stroke Center means that Trinity consistently achieves nationally recognized standards for outcomes and the timeframe in which it treats the patient.


Consolidated Services Signs New Agreement with the University of Iowa

IHSCS Custom PackIowa Health System Consolidated Services has been making custom procedure packs for our hospitals since 2008. Packs are assembled and sterilized at the Distribution Center in Urbandale with assistance from our partners Owens & Minor and American Contract Systems. The benefit for IHS to assemble its own packs is that they are built with only the supplies needed for specific surgeries, greatly reducing waste and saving money.

In the past two years, several health care organizations from the U.S. and Europe have toured our award-winning operations with plans to replicate our process. This spring there was yet another sign that our custom pack program is exemplary – the University of Iowa signed an agreement to have their custom packs produced at the Distribution Center. The increased volume will help drive down costs for everyone involved.